Retellings: Putting a New Twist on the Classics

21 contemporary authors use classic plotlines to create fresh stories.

Tap the book covers to learn more

While we love the classics here at Read It Forward, we’ve also discussed the classics we haven’t read and the ones we’re uncomfortable with because of their portrayals of certain characters or situations. Last year, we also had a fantastic roundup of some of the best twists on old tales. But guess what? The classics, from the epic Latin poem The Aeneid to the snarky and beauty-obsessed The Picture of Dorian Gray, continue to be reworked and reimagined. And just as the canon of what we consider to be classics is vast, so, too, are the amazing retellings of their stories by our contemporary writers.

Here, we introduce you to 21 more fantastic books that use classic conceits and plotlines to tell their own unique stories.

Featured image: Ola-ola /

Get recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.

About Ilana Masad

Ilana Masad

ILANA MASAD is an Israeli-American writer living in New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Printer’s Row, The Toast, The Butter, The Rumpus, Hypertext Magazine, and more. She is the founder of, a podcast for new, emerging, and struggling writers. She is (way too) active on Twitter @ilanaslightly.

[email_signup id="4"]